Genre: Shounen
Score: OK
Rating: PG for action and one oddly phallic piece of jewellery
Length: 26 episodes

Daisuke has the usual trouble for a young boy: how to confess to his first love, Risa. But it seems his family has an unusual inheritance they never told him about: at night he transforms into the dashing thief Dark, with black wings and magic powers, who steals famous works of art amid a cavalcade of publicity (having first sent a note to the police telling them what he’s about to steal – otherwise it wouldn’t be sporting). The two share a body, so when Dark is active Daisuke can only watch what’s happening from the inside. Dark is everything that Daisuke isn’t: strong, confident and good with the ladies – to make matters worse, not only does Risa develop a crush on Dark, but on the way back from a heist Dark kisses Risa’s sister Riku. Can Daisuke cope with the competition from his other self, find his own strengths and a balance between the two personalities?

This is a kids’ show. It’s got fighting, courage, grand causes and confident statements. It’s also quite girly – it’s got love triangles that don’t involve any nudity, and it’s got people worrying about what present to give their mother (Daisuke at the start of the series really is a wimp). It features the usual adolescent issues of self-confidence, crushes, rejection and the fear of it, and so on.

In many ways I can’t defend this show, and yet I still quite like it. I think because the characters do actually develop: Daisuke and the two girls each grow up in their own way (Dark doesn’t count, he’s centuries old already – Daisuke’s grandfather was his previous host). It doesn’t resort to many of the shortcuts that anime usually do when it comes to plotting relationships (and despite the cool fight sequences, relationships are what the show is actually about). And it’s quite nice how Daisuke and Dark, stuck in the same skull, come to terms with each other without losing themselves.

Those of us who are nearly thirty might find this series a bit dull. For its target audience of mid-teens I’d definitely recommend it.